Friday, October 17, 2008

Bits and Pieces

THE COLORADO BOOK AWARDS were announced on October 8. The winner in the History category was The Life and Times of Richard Castro: Bridging a Cultural Divide by Richard Gould (Colorado Historical Society). Gould's book tells the story of a Colorado political leader who was beaten by the police as a young man. Years later his house was bombed and he was shot by political rivals. Castro eventually served as a state representative. He died at age 44 from a cerebral hemorrhage. Other nominees for the Colorado Book Awards included aaron a. abeyta for Rise, Do Not Be Afraid (Ghost Road Press) in the Fiction category, and Guillermo Vidal for Boxing For Cuba: An Immigrant's Story of Despair, Endurance & Redemption (Ghost Road Press) in the Creative Non-Fiction category.

FROM LIBRERIA MARTINEZ: "Join the Friends of the Signal Hill Library to welcome guest authors, Margo Candela, Mary Castillo, Reyna Grande, and Jamie Martinez Wood who will discuss their fictional accounts of the Latina experience from three different perspectives. Margo Candela, will discuss More Than This, a unique falling-in-love story; Ms. Castillo's book, Switchcraft, is a spirited romantic comedy about two best friends who share a life-changing trading places experience. Reyna Grande's work, Across a Hundred Mountains, tells the story of a small group of undocumented immigrants and makes their struggles and humanity real to the reader. Jamie Martinez Wood's debut novel, Rogelia's House of Magic, is about three different 15-year old girls who find friendship and special powers as they are trained by a wise old woman. This free program is sure to be a thought provoking evening."

October 20, 7:00 - 8:30 PM, Signal Hill Park Community Center, 1780 E. Hill Street, Signal Hill, CA

A DOZEN ON DENVER, the Rocky Mountain News' project to celebrate Denver's (and its own) 150th birthday with fiction by Colorado authors, has planned two events for November where the twelve authors and their stories will be featured. On November 14 at 5:00 PM, the News will announce the winner of its writing contest (the 12th writer and story) during a reception and general party. All of the participating authors are expected. The party will take place in the lobby of the Denver Newspaper Agency, 101 W. Colfax Avenue, Denver (303-954-5000). Then, on November 22 at 2:00 PM, the Tattered Cover Book Store (Colfax Avenue store) will host an event to honor A Dozen On Denver where all of the authors' books will be available for signing. These events are free and open to the public. In the spirit of the celebration, and to publicly demonstrate your support for an excellent idea from the Rocky Mountain News, I urge those of you who can attend either or both of these events to show up and join in the literary fun.

THE POWER OF ONE - As part of the Aurora Public Library's Power of One series, five authors will conduct a panel around the general theme of the series: the power that one word, one image, one perspective or one moment can have on all around us. Authors include Margaret Coel, Christine Goff, Robert Greer, RT Lawton, and Manuel Ramos. The program is set for October 26 at 2:00 PM at the Aurora Public Library, 14949 E. Alameda Parkway, Aurora, CO. 303-739-6634.

JAMES CRUMLEY - Finally, and belatedly, I wanted to note the passing of a great American writer, James Crumley. Mr. Crumley died on September 17. His death has been noted by many others with praise and admiration, feelings shared by his readers from around the world.

The New York Times repeated this quote in its obituary: Though Mr. Crumley’s books attracted a devoted readership, they were never best sellers. He was philosophical about this.“I’m not middlebrow and middle class,” he said in the Dallas Morning News interview. “Sure, I’d like it if more people read the books. My children would like it. My ex-wives would like it. But that’s just not what I’m about.”

Crumley's best-known work, The Last Good Kiss, is considered an American crime fiction masterpiece. It opens with these famous lines:

When I finally caught up with Abraham Trahearne, he was drinking beer with an alcoholic bulldog named Fireball Roberts in a ramshackle joint just outside of Sonoma, California, drinking the heart right out of a fine spring afternoon.

That's all I got this week.


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